Editor’s note: Last week, Weidert Group's intrepid intern Jessica Bedore had the enviable task of trekking to Orlando, Fla., as part of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America team that attended the the society’s national conference. We are sure it was tough for Jessica to endure the sunshine and warmth of Florida, but it turned out to be a worthwhile trip, as the team from UW-Oshkosh placed 2nd in the national competition among chapters for their organ donation campaign. We offer our congratulations to Jessica and the UWO team and share her description of the week:
We started off the week in Orlando by giving a chapter development session to about 400 PRSSA students from across the country. We were selected as one of only eight chapters in the nation to do so at the 2011 conference. Our challenge was to select a topic that we were considered public relations "experts” on and to create a presentation on the topic that would inspire conversation among session attendees.
As a group, we decided to create a presentation based on the success that our chapter has had in the past with PRSSA’s various national competitions. For the past 17 years, UW Oshkosh PRSSA has either received a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place or honorable mention in the National Organ Donor Awareness Campaign (NODAC) competition and had consistently received top titles over the years in the National Bateman Case Study Completion. We wanted our presentation to help other small chapters who are currently competing in these competitions. A video of our presentation will soon be available online.
Traditionally, the last night of conference is the awards dinner. This is something that we always look forward to. We were up for several awards this year, including the Tehan award for best developing chapter as well as an award for the 2011 NODAC competition.
For NODAC 2011, UWO PRSSA chose to plan an event based on the hit TV show “Minute to Win It”. The campaign was called “Minute to Give It” and was designed to encourage people to tell their families about their decision to be an organ donor. The tagline “Minute to Give It: It only takes a minute to tell your family your wishes” was used throughout the campaign. We also hosted a nightlong event on campus that resembled the NBC game show. During the awards dinner, we were awarded 2nd place in the nation for our campaign, keeping our winning streak for the past 17 years alive.
This year, UWO PRSSA plans to compete in the Bateman competition as well as the NODAC competition. We are currently in the research stages for both campaigns and plan to start the implementation process during the spring semester.